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Hillary Clinton’s desperation to silence divisions in the Democratic Party so she can focus her attacks against Donald Trump comes with a very high price, her critics contend, for many important issues including fighting racism, winning changes to improve immigration, accepting the unacceptable status quo on gun ownership, and preventing peace from overtaking the U.S. orchestrated dysfunction in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
By Ray Hanania
Hillary Clinton has masterfully managed the “democratic” election process undermining her chief party rival Bernie Sanders, and now is working to silence voices in the Democratic party that might distract from her strategic belief that the way to the White House is through Donald Trump.
Clinton, the former First Lady and wife of former President Bill Clinton, the former U.S. Senator from New York and the former Secretary of State, knows that she can’t take positions of justice and fairness on some key issues that are in contention among Democrats.
One of the most contentious issues is the battle among Democrats over the longstanding policies to coddle Israel that were established by her husband during the twilight of his controversial final term as president. Clinton, badly wanted to achieve a Middle East peace agreement that would establish a Palestinian State acceptable to Israel but was thwarted by fundamental issues of fairness, justice and the International Rule of Law.
Clinton allowed the peace process to collapse, and pulled the veil off of Dennis Ross, the Clinton aide whose job it was to pretend that he was objective when in fact his biases helped fuel suspicions and caused the collapse of last ditch negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the late Palestinian President Yasir Arafat. Rather than exert influence to force Israel to agree to a just solution to the never-ending conflict, Clinton instead decided to stand by Israel, which has used oppression, religious racism and a modernized form of Apartheid to strengthen it’s Superior Jewish race visions at the expense of Muslims and Christians.
His wife, Hillary Clinton, is the heir to President Bill Clinton’s decision to sell-out peace and justice by embracing Israel’s extremist agenda. As peace has flickered in the wake of Bill Clinton’s Middle East peace failures. It smoldered under the war-mongering of his successor President George W. Bush by invading Iraq and delaying a swift victory in Afghanistan after Sept. 11. And, it has meandered under the weak leadership of President Barack Obama, whose rhetoric was inspiring but not backed up by actions.
In the face of rising terrorist violence in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, and the collapse of America’s ability to influence the Middle East, Israel has steadily moved to the extreme right ramping up its violence against Christians and Muslims while demanding more foreign aid subsidies from the United States. With no one standing in its way, Israel has become one of the Middle East worst rejectionists, worse than the rejectionists who dominate the Arab extreme.
A good example of how Hillary Clinton would undermine Palestinian rights and further destroy the peace process occurred this week when the Democratic National Committee met to review language for the Party Platform, which is a guideline on how Democrats hope to address issues.
Bernie Sanders nominated five people including Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison and veteran American Arab political activist and visionary Jim Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute. With Clinton successful derailing Sanders’ candidacy through sheer political maneuvering and manipulation of the sympathetic mainstream news media, she was able to dominate the platform committee appointing several American Jewish political activists.
As a side note, it’s interesting that it is OK to identify Americans who are Arab as being “Arab,” but when you identify Americans who are Jewish as being “Jewish,” you are libeled and vilified as being “anti-Semitic.”
That explains why the media made so much of Zogby’s Arab heritage but said nothing of the religious biases of Jewish appointees who voted to rejected the more progressive language urging not only peace but peace based on the International Rule of Law.
A good example is how Clinton’s allies embraced the extremist agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s a mistake I hope Hillary Clinton corrects.
In 1967, Israel militarily occupied the West Bank, Arab East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Egypt’s Sinai desert, and Syria’s Golan Heights. The issue of who really started the 1967 war aside, no one ever disputed the reality that Israel’s military occupation of those territories constituted an “occupation.”
But over the years, Israel has built exclusively racist and militarist Jewish-only settlements on the lands it occupied in a clear strategy to fulfill its original 1940s goal of expelling non-Jews and taking over completely all of the land of what was then historic Palestine under a guiding mandate given to the British but that they abandoned under pressure from Jewish extremists in the US and Britain.
Sander’s group used the term Israeli occupation, but Clinton’s group removed the term “occupation” from their language. They proposed affirmation of the longstanding American policy of urging, as a part of an overall peace accord that recognizes Israel’s “right to exist,” a call to “end the occupation and illegal settlements.”
Clinton’s response was swift and brutal, and clearly a declaration of war on peace. Clinton masterfully spun her sympathetic media into arguing that the change is insignificant and Clinton continues to support the Two-State Solution which presumably calls for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State as a part of the Arab World acceptance of Israel’s existence.
But like the American Jewish activists and Israeli lobby which has Americans in an oppressive headlock of fealty — in the media and in the U.S. Congress — Clinton knows that the Two-State Solution is an empty phrase used to prevent peace. Israel won’t let it happen, but rather than criticize Israel’s rejectionist extremism, Clinton can turn away and pretend by muttering the empty words.
Israel allows Clinton to say she supports the Two-State Solution as long as they and she know that it will never go anywhere under here watch and under Israel oppression. In reality, Palestine is not the only placed occupied by Israeli fanaticism. So is the White House and the Congress these days, joining the mainstream American news media which excludes and marginalizes American Arab participation and defines the debate in the narrow confines of language that Israel approves. The American news media appears as if it is allowing a “debate” and “open discussion” on the issues of Israel and Palestine but in truth, they are not.
Israeli’s don’t hate Donald Trump because he hates Israel. They hate Trump because he uttered words that were even more frightening than electing a Jewish American President who has openly criticized Israel’s military occupation of Palestinians civilians as using excessive force and disproportionate force in response to Palestinian protests. Trump has vowed he will take a “neutral stand” on peace between Israel and Palestine. Sanders has vowed to do what most American presidents have feared doing, forcing Israel to end its violence and recognize the rights of Palestinian Statehood, the same way the U.S. has demanded that the Arabs recognize the rights of Israel to statehood.
Palestinians and the Arabs have recognized Israel, but Israel’s government refuses to recognize the Palestinians, a vicious trend that continues to worsen, as it has recently when Brooke Goldstein, a spokesperson for the racistly anti-Arab group the Lawfare Project, insisted in a recent speech that the Palestinians do not exist as a people. Her words are horrible and reflect the growing extremism in Israel that Hillary Clinton must address, but so far has not.
Bernie Sanders has spoken to that rising extremism and his efforts have sought to mute the extremists and push an agenda of security for Israel coupled with the rights of Palestinians to statehood and justice. Sander’s agenda is what Hillary Clinton should embrace, not stymie.
Those who support Palestine are subjected to a vicious and continuous harassment by pro-Israel activists like Goldstein, especially on College campuses where the anti-Apartheid movement found its roots in battling South African Apartheid in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, though, Israel Apartheid-like policies are justified because the victims are a narrow sub-set of Christians and Muslims. Only 22 percent of the world’s Muslims are Arab and Arab haters have been careful to speak out against recent acts of discrimination against non-Arab Muslims while advocating discrimination against Arab Muslims.
Clinton’s people were quick to sell the spin which was embraced by the Israeli apologists explaining that the Democratic Platform no longer advocates for Palestinian rights as being a part of Israel’s interest, freeing Israel’s government from any moral responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians.
Israel has fought hard to remove the term “occupation” from the American foreign policy lexicon as it continues to fight to remove the term “Palestinian” from American public discourse. Israelis claim that Jewish students are being harassed and bullied on university campuses around the country but the truth is that it is the Arab students and especially Palestinian students who are being targeted by pro-Israel fanatics and racists.
Hillary Clinton’s agenda will facilitate that persecution all the more, unless she embraces Sanders’ agenda fully and morally and sooner rather than later.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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